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How I Consume Information

Published: at 14:44

中文版本在这里

A reader left a comment (sorry, I lost the original data after migrating the comment plugin server) after reading my article “Platforms Worth Reading Continuously in 2023”:

My biggest problem now is not the lack of quality reading content. Rather, there is too much good stuff that I can’t keep up at all. New reading materials accumulate much faster than I can digest them. I don’t quite believe the author can go through so much content every week.

I understand the reader’s doubt. Indeed, I listed 39 information sources in that article, excluding those not mentioned. So how do I manage all this information with limited time?

When writing the article, I considered explaining my information consumption process but chose not to in order to stay focused. In hindsight, this was an oversight.

To clarify, I don’t read every source weekly. Time doesn’t allow it, and not all sources update weekly. Information consumption requires selectivity - I prioritize based on importance and urgency of content.

My Information Consumption Process

My main information sources fall into seven categories: news, Telegram channels, subscribed blogs/newsletters, ebooks, and derivative web content.

I deployed RSSHub and Telegram RSSbot on my VPS (see my articles on setting them up). This lets me subscribe to news sites and channels via RSS and view them in Telegram. I “browse” instead of “read” news - headlines from quality media convey key info. For channels, browsing suffices in most cases. I save items needing further reading to Telegram’s “saved messages” and clear them out later.

For the other five categories, I use Readwise Reader. Typically I first read the AI-generated summary to decide if I should read on. It depends on my interests and if the content is relevant.

When reading in-depth, I first open Heptabase and record what I already know about the topic in my Journal. For a knowledge management article, I’d note my understanding of it there and mention related notes.

Next, I read carefully section by section, highlighting and recording thoughts and feelings. These sync to Heptabase via API for me to digest later. I then integrate highlights into my Journal, consider updating existing notes or adding new ones.

Finally, I put the curated content on my whiteboard for further thinking and reflection. I won’t elaborate here.

Like tasting every delicious dish in the world, I can’t digest all wonderful content in this age of information explosion. I hope my process provides some inspiration. Most importantly, find the rhythm and method best suited for you.